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Gordon Setter




The dog has seldom been successful in pulling man up to his level of sagacity, but man has frequently dragged the dog down to his.
- James Thurber

Gordon Setter head shot

Sassenach Desperado

Gordon Setter adult
Ch Sassenach Mael Madoc

Black and tan setters have been known in Scotland for hundreds of years. Alexander, the fourth Duke of Gordon is credited with developing the breed into a working setter during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. 

Once known as the Gordon Castle Setter, the Gordon Setter was bred to be a sportsman's dog. He is a bird dog and was bred to find and point game birds for the hunter. The early Gordon Setters may also have done some sheep herding. 

The Gordon Setter is the heaviest of the setters, developed to work in dense undergrowth and over uneven ground. A sturdy, well-muscled dog, he has the stamina to search for his quarry over rugged highland terrain.  The adult Gordon Setter stands up to 27 inches tall. His coat is shiny coal black and has rich chestnut-red markings. He has long hair or feathers on his chest, body, legs, and tail, and requires regular brushing. 

Like the other setters, the Gordon Setter is known for his expressive face and exuberant, enthusiastic personality. He is a spirited animal with boundless energy who thrives on human companionship and attention. This is not a dog to be left alone for long periods. A loyal, devoted, and loving dog, he makes a better watchdog than the other setters as he is naturally a little wary of strangers. The Gordon Setter gets along very well with children when raised with them and is naturally protective of them.

The Gordon Setter is intelligent but can be stubborn. Blind obedience has never been the setter style. He does best with a consistent and loving approach to training as he is a sensitive dog. This dog requires an outlet for his tireless energy. Plenty of good romping room and long runs will ensure that he remains healthy, well-balanced, and manageable. 


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The Gordon Setter Club of Canada
Vancouver Island Pointing Dog Club




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Maple Leaf Breeders

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CKC Gordon Setter Breed Standard

Photos displayed above courtesy of:
Judith Brown, Sassenach Kennels



Judith Brown
119 Cranleigh Green SE
Calgary, AB  T3M 1J2
(403) 279-7736

Sassenach Kennels



Brigitte Grise
71 imp. sabliere
Lac Superier, QC  J0T 1J0
(819) 688-6499



Gordon Setter Club of Canada - Rescue





Did you know?


According to Veterinary Pet Insurances, the top 3 most popular names for a male dog are Max, Buddy, and Jake.

The 3 most popular female names are Molly, Maggie, and Daisy.



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